A first half brace from Blaine Curtis gave Finn Harps a precious away win over Wexford Youths in Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last.
Wexford Youths 0
Finn Harps 2
Harps have now opened up a nine point gap between them and bottom of the table Salthill Devon in the League of Ireland First Division. Peter Hutton’s charges travelled south knowing anything less than a point would see the opposition close the gap at the foot of the table.
Harps set their stalls out early, with Curtis netting his first with just 11 minutes on the clock. Marc Brolly sent a perfectly weighted ball from the left into the Youths danger area for Kevin McHugh to latch on to, although his headed effort bounced off the foot of the right post. Curtis reacted quickest to watch a headed effort of his own finish in the net, giving his side the perfect start.
Not resting on their laurels, Harps continued their dominance, and doubled their lead just seven minutes later. This time it was Aaron McElwee who slotted through a defence splitting pass for Curtis, who fought off the challenge of Karl Keogh in the Wexford defence. One on one with the oncoming Patrick Holden, Curtis placed his shot perfectly past the goalkeeper to give Harps a comfortable two goal cushion.
A concentrated showing from Harps ensured they maintained their lead for the remaining 70 minutes, stamping out any threat coming their way from the home side, who played the majority of the game with a lone striker, Ben Ryan.
Player manager Hutton will hope this performance can spark his squad into winning ways ahead of two home games against Mervue United and Limerick following their two week break.
Wexford Youths: Packie Holden; Shane Nolan, Karl Keogh, Martin Kehoe (Greg Yelverton 75), Anto Russell; Robrt Vickers, Shane Dempsey, Patsy Malone, Craig Wall, Dean Broaders (Dave Miller 65); Ben Ryan.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Martin Redmond, Peter Hutton, Keith Cowan, John Paul Gallagher; Mark Forker, Thomas Bonner (Gareth Harkin 57), Aaron McElwee, Marc Brolly (Ciaran Coll 89); Blain Curtis, Kevin McHugh.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer